Manilla Killa Dives Deep on The Delectable Collaboration of "I Want You"
After releasing their progressive electro synth-pop bop, “I Want You”, Moving Castle’s Manila Killa (i.e. Chris Gavino) and Majestic Casual’s Robotaki (aka Preston Chin) have been delighting the country with a collaborative tour, selling out rooms from the west coast to the east coast, and everywhere in between.
Toronto native Robotaki and east coast dweller Manila Killa were able to cultivate a colorful combination of sounds that is “I Want You”, a buoyant track complimented by smooth vocals from Matthew John Kurz. A captivating electro pop anthem that has surely set the stage for the two in showcasing their individual music and synergetic magic that occurs when they hit the stage side by side, “I Want You” has earned its seat amongst this summer’s most delectable tracks.
After getting some good ole’ Texas BBQ with friends from Moving Castle, we were able to catch the two before their show in Austin in the midst of their “I Want You” tour to talk collaborating, touring, and setting the record straight.
So “I Want You” is a super dreamy, whimsical track. How did you guys initially connect and what made you guys want to collaborate?
Preston: I’ve always been a fan of Chris’s music.
P: It was the right time to work together. We sent a bunch of demos around with each other and fortunately he dug one of them, and it was “I Want You.” I had been stuck on that for the longest time and he just brought it to the end. I can’t believe a tour came from it.
C: Yeah, it’s crazy.
How did you guys decide to tour off of this collaboration?
C: I mean like once we realized we wanted to collaborate together, we were just like why don’t we just tour off of this, you know? My schedule was free up until November and Preston was free too.
P: Yeah, the timing was perfect.
C: So after we made the song, we were just like let’s go on a tour and all of this happened.
Right on, that’s super rad. How is it showcasing your individual music and then playing together? How is that dynamic?
C: We definitely make similar kinds of music. But it’s not completely the same; so obviously during our sets we do our own thing. But after that, it’s not necessarily blending what we make together, but more of what we enjoy together. So towards the end, we are playing whatever we want.
P: It’s such a nice environment to be able to do that.
Super cool, so are there any new projects in the works for you guys? Are you guys going to collaborate again?
C: I mean who knows if we’re going to collaborate together.
P: We’re going to LA soon, so maybe.
C: As of now, right now both of us are focusing on the tour and trying to make it best as possible. Aside from that, I have a remix coming out this month and I’m going on tour again after this one as my other side project, Hotel Garuda. That’s for the rest of the year.
P: For me, I’m just excited to go back home after this tour and work on music. This tours been super inspiring. I’ve met such good people and Chris has been the most amazing plug for really good people.
So, Chris I learned you recently graduated from college and I’m a senior. I’m wondering how do you manage your time being a co-founder of Moving Castle, having Hotel Garuda and your Manila project? How do you decide what to prioritize?
C: Honestly, it was definitely difficult. It was really tough. But what I realized is that I can’t do well in school and do well in music. So I had to pick one or the other. To balance things out, I prioritized between my school and music and towards the end of my schooling career; I was focusing on doing well in school. I wasn’t playing shows. For my last two semesters, I didn’t play any shows during the semester. I mean my way of balancing things out was to focus on one thing or the other.
Yeah, definitely. You’re in a really good position now with Moving Castle, what is your ultimate goal and hope in developing and growing in the electronic world?
C: I mean my ultimate goal from the very beginning in starting Moving Castle was to give shine to those people who really deserve it but aren’t getting it. So that’s the whole thing about Moving Castle, getting people together that we believe in and pushing them forward. That’s really it. That’s the only reason why I started all of this. There are so many people out there that making really amazing music, who really deserve it but don’t get the shine. So what I wanted to do with Moving Castle was bring those people forward. Like these people really deserve the credit.
P: Yeah, seriously. That’s the way I feel about Moving Castle. It’s just breaking those walls. They don’t need to be there.
C: Yeah, we don’t care how big or small you are. If you’re making dope music, we’re going to bring you on tour; we’re going to push you forward.
And Preston, you are only 20 years old. And I heard that you –
P: [Hysterically laughs and claps]
I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to call you out!
P: No, no, no. Wait okay, so this is the first interview that I can finally set this straight. There’s a blog that fucked up and said my year is 97 so everyone thinks I’m fucking 20 years old!
C: [Laughs] He’s not 20! He’s older than me.
P: I’m a ‘91 kid. I’m 26 years old. Nothing on you! Literally everyone we met today thought I was 20. We’ve tried to change it for the past year. I don’t understand why it’s taking so long. [Laughs]
Well, we’ll set the record straight today. Don’t you worry! I did hear you guys sold out your New York show though, that’s super exciting.
C: It was amazing because New York has been such a special place for me especially because that was the first place where I partied when I first got to college. I went to high school in the Philippines and I came to college on the east coast and New York was the first place where I found people who like the same kind of music that I did. To go from there to selling Music Hall of Williamsburg out was incredible for me. That was so special for me.
P: It was one of those experiences that makes you realize that music is the most universal language ever. Especially you, Chris. You travel all across the world and suddenly you meet the same people who are into the same shit. It’s crazy.
Catch the two on the remaining dates of their “I Want You” tour:
10/5 – Detroit
10/12 – Denver
10/13 – Washington D.C.
10/19 – Toronto
10/20 – Chicago
Featured image courtesy of Manilla Killa
Stay tuned to Milk for more dynamic duos.